I noticed an odd thing today – no one was smiling. I’m used to people smiling in greeting but today everyone looked miserable. And then I realised so did I. Every time I step outside I have to brace myself for the wall of heat. I carry water, a parasol, a fan, and a cloth everywhere I go. I have to wipe sweat off my face when I get onto the train and I spend most of my time outside feeling sticky and disgusting. I’m wilting in the heat and so is everyone else I meet.
Of course it’s been like this for months so what changed today? I blame it on the silly notion that autumn starts in September in Tokyo. My teacher has been talking about this in school for the past week, I’m seeing ads for autumn food and drink, and I get asked what I’m going to do now that summer is over. All this talk of autumn brings thoughts of cooler days but the weather at the minute is exactly the same as the weather last week. I have been told many times that Japan has four seasons, I’ve even had to read an essay on this, and I get asked if there are four seasons in my country. It seems that seasons are a thing to be proud of and here they long for them to last a perfect three months. I imagine that in some parts of the country they do but having lived in Tokyo for nearly 7 years now I know that my concept of autumn isn’t really going to start here until around November. At that point it will be cooler and the leaves in Tokyo will start to change to a bright yellow or red. Last year the peak autumn leaf viewing time in Tokyo was the first week of December, which I have been told is winter.
I want the weather to dictate the seasons and not the calendar.